The debate over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues in the Mailbox, while Liverpool’s win over Milan is lauded. Keep your mails coming in to email@example.com…
Love it, Liverpool
I can’t remember the last match I enjoyed that much. Ali’s header was the best footballing moment that I’ve experienced since we won the league but a match as a whole? This had everything.
We absolutely slaughtered them first half but only had 1 goal to show for it and Milan showed exactly why a 1 goal lead is precarious with a couple of cheeky breakaway finishes.
Kjaer was my man of the match by the way…so many clever and brave interventions.
Salah got a lovely equaliser a few minutes into the second half but the game continued to pulse back and forth until Hendo stepped up with his ‘YOUUU BEAUTTTY’ moment.
F*ck I love football.
Drawing or even losing this first CL match wouldn’t have been a disaster (circumstances depending obviously, take note Mancs) but I felt all of the emotions watching it and that is literally what this beautiful sport is all about.
James Outram, Wirral
…On paper, last night was Liverpool’s easiest game in this group. Playing the 4th seed at home is usually a comfortable victory, with very little stress. Last night was never going to be like that, because Milan are not really a 4th seed, so it was a really pleasing win.
It wasn’t a must win last night or even a must not lose, because the nature of the group means that 8 points could be enough to qualify. But it would have upped the pressure on following games and meant that Liverpool were playing catch up. They can now go into the Porto game with confidence, knowing that a win would take them 4 points clear of at least 2 of the teams in that group.
It was an excellent performance, bar the sloppy defending for the two goals. Liverpool’s domination of most of the first half and all of the second half was really pleasing to see. It was especially impressive given the changes that were made. Always good to see other members of the squad come into the side and the team still able to play at the same level.
Of course the best thing about the whole evening was the crowd. European nights at Anfield. How we have missed you.
Finally, worth thinking back 3 years ago. Liverpool won their opening group game 3-2 against a European Heavyweight with a late goal by an often underrated player. And we all know how that season ended…
Mike, LFC, London
…What a game. I’m pretty knackered just from watching it.
I watched the analysis and Rio’s take on the first Milan goal is so awful which I find odd because he was a top class defender. Gomez chooses to drop deep with Rebic which then creates huge complications. If he holds the line then Rebic is offside and Gomez can press the man in possession who now has no passing options that are inside. By dropping he creates huge space for Matip for fill and also creates bigger passing lanes. All the issues leading up to that goal stem from Gomez not holding the line. I think Gomez was trying to take on the role of defensive leader in VVD’s absence and Terry used to have a habit of dropping deeper and doing that sort of thing but I think modern day defence is all about holding the line and trusting VAR to do its job if needed.
We made a bit of a meal of that game in the end but it did massively add to the spectacle and turned it into a game that everyone will remember. Had Salah scored from the spot I think it would’ve ended up being a more subdued second half and ended 2-0.
Robertson was immense in the first half. Origi was the standout performer though. His assist for Salah was delicious but so much of what he did today was outstanding.
I write this at full time knowing justice has actually been done after the most one sided game I’ve seen in some time. However, I can’t get past the BT Sport commentator describing the first half as a “masterclass” of an away performance by AC Milan. It’s this kind of bollocks that got Jose Mourinho his ill gotten reputation. They got destroyed and were incredibly lucky to not be five down by the time they admittedly took their literally two chances well. If that was their game plan they need a new playbook. It’s not a “masterclass” to incite pressure, leave gaps all over the pitch and let the opposition miss countless chances, it’s shit.
Ian (the drunk pundit)
Watching the Liverpool MIlan game (mind you not done yet… minute 90 +3), what the hell happened to tactical fouls?
Two unpunished come to mind immediately but i am sure there were more.
1st half Kjaer on Origi, 2nd half Kessie on Robertson. Both no yellow cards? Obviously tacitcal fouls. Did i miss something? Asking for a friend…obviously.
Nik (confused), Munich
Feel like I get a right of reply to NA E17’s response to Lingard’s mistake not being replicable in a ‘normal’ office job context. That authour says “Lingard inadvertently passed the ball to the wrong recipient”. While factually correct, it rather misses context, which is what I tried to highlight with a fatuous example of a completely unforgivable work disaster.
We’ve all emailed to the wrong address, I’ve probably done it to the esteemed editor here. Every footballer has passed a ball to the opposition. So it’s all square right? Well no, context is important. If I’m sending an email to a key client partner, I will spend more time thinking about it. I will double check spelling, content, and absolutely ensure that I’ve got the right address. Because that particular email is crucial to the revenue of my company, it therefore is more important and should be treated as such.
Which is why if I screw it up, I get fired, but if I screw up sending an email to my mate in accounting or misspell something in an internal email to marketing I’m forgiven.
Professional footballer in most important competition, in the last 20 seconds of a match where a point could be crucial completely f*cking up an unnecessary pass back to the keeper and therefore losing the match for his team, potentially getting his manager fired and costing his club upwards of 30m feels to me like a fireable offence. This was not a simple mispass – context is key. He did the hilariously worst possible thing at the hilariously worst possible moment – and there should be consequences to that significant a f*ck up.
Ole is fine and people are daft
A few things: Sancho can play on the right. Very good. He can also play on the left. Our most in form player also plays on the right or up front. We just signed Ronaldo up front. Our left winger is out injured. So it’s Sancho on the right with Martial on the left, or Sancho on the left with Greenwood on the right. Pick one, Greenwood or Martial to start? Thank you.
Lingard made a rookie mistake and it cost us a point and gave ‘the boys’ 3. In the last minute of the game. Not precisely sure what Ole can do or say to a pro footballer about such a mistake, People like an easy target i guess.
Fergie would give a bollocking to AWB- After the game, as he is not a fortune teller. As I am sure Ole will.
United were winning 1-0, got a man sent off early in the game and ended up losing 2-1 late on. Can you see a correlation there? Most of the angry trolls writing about United are Liverpool fans who still feel the sting from Chelsea holding off the might of Fermino and Mane last month.
Having a man sent off early can mean the rest of the team has to chase the ball for long periods, thus making the players more tired and prone to error. Sorry you couldn’t break Chelsea down or that they didn’t hand you a late winning goal. Surely the red was luck enough.
Tuchel, evidently, can set up a 10 man team to defend. He is very good at setting up 11 men to defend as well. That’s good for him. He also recorded a goals per game ratio of .79 per 90 mins last season. While defensive football is loved when winning, it is despised over long terms and/or losses, and it will eventually get him the sack. Yes, Lukaku has been brought in to fix this, but as far as I could see, we would have had the same result last night with the same number of men.
Granted, Ole did look a bit clueless in his response, but I genuinely think that look is just his face. His changes did not work but I doubt he made them for that result. All you Liverpool heads blamed Adrian for your 7-2 loss to Villa last season. Nothing to do with tactics, nope, no way, Klopp won the Champions League mate. Can’t have bad days if you win that.
Somebody pointed out that who else would replace him? That is a great question as there are not many out there. Conte is available, and is proven to be successful, but Conte is a very stiff manager. He sticks to his 3-5-2 and likes to work with experienced players. He would need us to do another squad makeover much in the same style as Van Gaal. Zidane would be a great choice, but it is rumoured he is holding out for the France job.
Everyone else is retired or with a club.
Someone pointed out that no other club would hire a manager like this, and F365 even wrote about the age of the hero managers ending. You conveniently did not mention the two best examples- Zizou and Pep. Both came into the world’s biggest clubs having only managed their B teams. How did that go? One defined an era with an unstoppable force, whilst the other, created a Champions League legacy never seen in the modern age. Ole, lamps and co just needed a prime Ronaldo or Messi to get them over the line it seems. Pep has been dreaming of the Champions League since he left Barca and he has failed. I guess he needs a prime Messi too.
I am slightly disappointed with some of the United fans’ rash judgements. If you recall, our/the worlds greatest ever manager also started with the team as a sleeping giant, being mocked by the glory loving neighbours and rivals, taking some time to introduce his style and eventually creating England’s greatest managerial legacy. Ole needs time, and the more we give, the better he, and the team gets. His time in charge has proven that.
Here is what I know- Only 5 managers currently in the Premiership won a trophy last year; Pep, Rodgers,Tuchel, Arteta and Farke. Yes, Ole should have put his name on that list, but he was outwitted by Emery. It hurts but even the best can be out done on their day.
Don’t believe me? Well, Master Champions League winner Tuchels Chelsea lost to Arteta’s Arsenal in the FA cup? Tell me, does that make Arteta good? Tuchel bad? Arteta also masterminded a victory over the tactical master(Who only plays in one style) Klopp in the Community Shield. So, judging managers by one game, and winning trophies, Arteta is better than Tuchel and Klopp as his team; is not as good, he has invested less and he won both of the finals?
This is where I imagine you are doing all sorts of mental gymnastics to try and prove why Klopp and Tuchel are better- The Champions League and the League.
But Zidane’s Real knocked Liverpool out last season, and he has won the trophy more than Klopp, in fact, he’s won more in general than Klopp. Can we agree then that Zidane is better than Klopp and Tuchel by your logic? I bet you won’t..
I can only judge my team by what I can see. We are a better team, we have a better future, we have come closer to the big trophies more than at any time since Fergie left, we have a team full of talent, our manager appears to not be a d**khead and we are playing a style of football that’s appealing (Excluding last night).
Last year he lost a final yes, but he got to the final many other teams did not get to, he finished second, ahead of everyone but Pep’s City, which is no easy feat and Pogba was out for most of it. We also have a playing style that is not robotic(Pep) or the same every week(Klopp).
We are growing towards something, and we can feel it. I am nervous about the squad ages, talent, managers and investment potential of the two big boys in blue- Chelsea and City, but we can match them or at least come close.
My scouse rivals on the other hand appear to be on a downward trend. Aging squad, not much investment, not very tactically flexible and they have a coach that has so far proven he can make a winning team, that can turn into a losing team, and then he goes. Once that happens, I am expecting Arsenal 2.0 with Eddie Howe in the hot seat.
So, Ole is fine, one game won’t make or break him. And if, after all is said and done, he has to go, he will have left behind the best team any Man Utd manager has ever left for their successor in my lifetime, and I will not look back as negatively as I do with Moyes/LVG/Mourinho.
And if he succeeds, we will have found our very own Fergie 2.0.
Ole’s at the Wheel.
Calvino (Back to your mountains and caves, trolls)
Wenger for United
Arsene Wenger would be a great fit for United right now.
At one stage or another he’s tried to sign most of them (I assume), he can get the best out of what he’s given, and it’s a good squad. He has a plan and won’t be overawed.
Different managers for different times
The article about returning heroes got me thinking.
Whilst it’s clear the demands at Chelsea and United are to win the top trophies, however Ole ends up doing I’d argue both him and Lampard delivered what the club needed at the time.
Lampard came into a season with Chelsea not being able to buy any players and losing their best player for the past 7 years. Winning the title was very unlikely, but champs league qualification wasn’t and that was delivered. Whilst he wasn’t the right person to lead them to trophies, he did the minimum at a time when attracting the best managers might have been difficult. And he left a team ready to win trophies (whether they were his buys or not).
The same might end up being the case with Ole. I’ve generally been a supporter of his with his steady progress (with a few hiccups). However he does need to deliver this season either the league or champions league, or a very strong challenge for both. I am not sure he can do it. The evidence does indeed suggest a team relying on it’s talent over coaching.
If he does fail, then he should go but he will leave behind him a squad (once a DM is added) fit for a top manager who may then go on like Tuchel to deliver something. In that sense he might have just fulfilled his purpose.
Nishul Saperia (This is all of course dependent on if we hire the right manager next….which given we haven’t proven to have done so since 1986 is a huge if)
Why would Spurs give Kane a new contract and a pay rise? Because it makes perfect financial sense!
As we all know Kane will have 2 years left on his current deal at the end of this season. His value to Spurs will be falling. Kane wants more money and a release clause. Spurs will only do this if he adds a year or two to his current deal.
Say Spurs give Kane a new contract with an extra year or two and a £100k a week pay rise, then with the extra year(s) then they can push the release clause higher. So for a £5m investment for 1 year Spurs can get maybe an extra £10m or £20m on the fee.
A new longer contract allows Spurs to set the release clause above what they think they will get next summer with Kane’s current contract running down. It will take away any talk of gentleman’s agreement and Kane will know the terms that will allow him to leave. Either someone meets the clause and Spurs get more money or for a a few million a season Spurs get a few more years out of a quality striker. It makes sense for all.
Tom, South Stand Spur